I wasted 10 minutes listening to the Dan Patrick Radio Show again. It comes on after Mr. Tony, so I must not have been paying full attention, but those 10 minutes have strengthened my resolve not to listen to this show ever again. Patrick opened the show talking about former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Darren Daulton's embrace of mysticism, the Mayan calendar and his out-of-body experiences. Patrick had taped an interview with Daulton, and he played some excerpts. Then he told us that the interview will be played tomorrow after his producer has edited it, and they had a good chuckle about what a challenge it will be to cut 35 minutes of bizarre ramblings down to 10 minutes.
So what's wrong with this? Well, how much bandwidth do I have? First of all, this story is almost two weeks old and has been covered extensively in Sports Illustrated and the Philadelphia Daily News. Patrick did not acknowledge any source; I don't expect an ESPN guy to promote a rival publication, but he should credit the news organization that first broke the story. It's not hard to do. I found the Daulton item through my fellow blogger (or is it blogetter?), Rick, whose site provides entertaining nuggets and links on a daily basis. See?
Secondly, Patrick should do the interview live. If Daulton won't do it, don't put him on; or, if it's that good, play the whole tape, as unedited as FCC standards will permit. Let us hear it and decide for ourselves whether he's a wacko or not, because if he's not, we've only got about six years left on this planet. People complain, often rightly, about being misquoted or quoted out of context, so let the guy give us the context.
Thirdly, the excerpts added nothing to the story beyond what has already been written; they were so similar to the quotes in the other articles, Daulton sounded like he was giving a prepared speech. Which is exactly what this is because, as the news stories told us, Daulton is trying to get a book deal to publish his far-out ideas. But Patrick left that part out, too.
Finally, it is absolutely ridiculous to open the show with this and then tell us we will have to wait until tomorrow to hear the best parts. This is the information age. I find it hard to believe that Daulton hasn't given this same interview elsewhere. By tomorrow, if I really want to hear it, I'll have found it online, listened to it, blogged about it, text-messaged my friends about it, responded to blog comments, and moved on to the next item, which will contain snarky references to the end of the world according to Darren Daulton. In other words, by tomorrow, it will be even older news.
This is one reason why the Olympics ratings were so low. You can't make us wait until 11:00 at night to watch Sasha Cohen skate because we already know she fell and didn't get the medal (I hope all of you who TiVOed that have had a chance to watch it. Really sorry if I spoiled it for you). Show the events live; don't come on the air, and tell us to wait three hours to see something that happened six hours ago.
Unfortunately, if the Patrick Show holds true to form, they will continue to talk about this interview and play the same clips throughout his four-hour show, treating the tape like it's the audio equivalent of the Zapruder film. This is a typical approach in bad talk radio. Find a topic, say something about, say it again, pause, say it again, invite other opinions, then dismiss them, restate your opinion, pause, go to commercial, come back from commercial, repeat. Take some callers, read some email, and you are done. Maybe it's too hard to fill four hours. Maybe that's why the shows I enjoy, like TK or Marc Steiner or Terry Gross, are only one or two hours. Or, maybe they are just better, and they don't insult my intelligence.
I like Dan Patrick on television. He and Keith Olbermann are the Burns and Allen, the Lucy and Desi of my generation of sports fans. Along with Kenny Mayne, they instilled in me a lifelong brand-loyalty to SportsCenter. I don't hold Patrick blameless, but I think he is either lazy or too willing to accept the low standards set by ESPN Radio management, who should really demand better. I've heard his show is more tolerable when Olbermann joins him, but I can't seem to wait that long or expend the energy to learn the schedule.
There, I feel better now.